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16th January 2019 Jemma Green

Rebecca Dann — when digital technology meets inclusivity

Rebecca Dann | Marketing Assistant | artsdepot

My favourite session at Digital Marketing Day 2018 was Creating inclusive digital experiences today — with the tech of tomorrow with Robin Christopherson MBE from AbilityNet.

This session was one of my favourites firstly because it was led by a disabled person. Too often when attending conferences that have a section on inclusion, they are led by non-disabled people who don’t have first-hand experience of disabling barriers, nor have they usually consulted with disabled people about what barriers they may face. As a disabled person, it is really important to have those who are most benefited by inclusion, speaking and working with those who may not necessarily experience or think about the barriers.

I also really liked this session because I have a real passion for access and inclusion in the arts and in society at all levels. Having previously worked for Unlimited, based at Shape Arts, I have learnt a lot about working with disabled artists. I have been involved in many projects over the years working with education and arts organisations to be more inclusive, but times constantly change and technology advances and although I can understand what access helps myself, I am always looking to learn more about what could benefit other disabled people. That made this session incredibly valuable to me.

As marketeers it is vital to be inclusive in how we promote the work that we do within our arts organisations, predominantly our aims in the work we do is to attract audiences, so in order to do that we must cater to everyone and that starts before a disabled person even enters the building, through promotional material and our websites.

This session really got me thinking of ways in which technology could be used to be inclusive of disabled people from all backgrounds. Although this one was catered for visually impaired people, it made me wonder what other technology is out there that could be incorporated within the current arts venue I work at that could help others.

Something that comes up a lot when talking about access is ‘budget’ and I think a great way of fighting that argument is to explore and research the free technology that is already out there and really harness them. Enabling disabled audiences to access theatres and arts organisations more freely.

As Anne Lise Kjaer said in her opening keynote from Glasgow “… people say ‘We don’t have the budget’…you don’t need a budget to be creative.”

 

My 3 top benefits of attending Digital Marketing Day 2018 were:

  1. Expand existing knowledge as well as learning new things to help your organisation progress
  2. Sharing ideas with others and working together to create new solutions
  3. Networking and meeting other people in the sector from all different levels

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